Sima Tapariafrom Mumbai is back and she’s telling fortune again. This time, it is with Urban Companyand the audience is loving it.
- Tarun Menon, Director Marketing, Urban Company takes us behind the platform’s latest influencer marketing campaign with Sima Taparia, shares the thought behind partnering with her and larger goals for this year.
Last year, Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking introduced India and the world to ace matchmaker Sima Taparia and she quickly became one of the most talked about character from a reality show. The first season ended in July 2020 but the audience hasn’t stopped stanning over Sima Taparia yet. Sima gained instant popularity among millennials and Gen Z and never faded away from the news cycle. Over the past year, brands like Burger King, Tinder, Asian Paints flocked to partner with the internet sensation, who recently starred in Big Boss OTT.
Meanwhile, brands are still not over her. Recently, she featured in a campaign for home service and grooming platform, Urban Company.
Before Netflix renewed Indian Matchmaking for season 2, Urban Company’s Align your Stars campaign with Sima Taparia generated a lot of chatter on social media. It helped the brand garner 4.5+ million views in less than a week.
Telling us why Sima was the perfect match for this campaign, Tarun Menon, Director Marketing, Urban Company said, “Simi enjoys cult-like status and is best known for matchmaking based on the stars. She was one of the most talked about people online in 2020. It was a punt – to see if the choice of influencer and content could drive engagement for the campaign.”
“The videos themselves have been well received across social media with people relating, reacting and engaging with the content – and has given us learnings to bake into our next campaign,” added Menon.
Its marketing objective was to create buzz ahead of the launch of Big Home Rush, an Urban Company sale property. To further spread awareness around its discounts and gain new customers, Urban Company partnered with 14 different young influencers such as Kusha Kapila, Vishnu Kaushal, Mallika Dua, to mention a few, to create content for each zodiac sign. The underlying message of each piece was to encourage consumers to join Urban Company’s Big Home Rush sale.
Launched in January 2021, the Big Home Rush sale has become extremely popular with consumers. Even in the ongoing second edition, the company has already delivered close to 500,000 services, witnessing high demand from cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad and more.
Sharing why it chose influencer marketing to promote its sale, Menon said, “With other media formats driving awareness, the influencer leg sought to create engagement and conversation around the sale, in a way that’s native to the platform (Instagram). We’d observed that in the last 2 months, sun-sign based content was growing in volume, engagement and traction – as people tag their friends and conversation flows organically.”
Before Sima Taparia, Urban Company’s partnership with yesteryear’s TV stars such as Rupali Ganguly as Monisha Sarabhai and Komalika also received a positive response from its audience. The idea behind casting such a unique set of stars, from Sima to Monisha, was to find women who can express shock and help open a door for them in the regional markets.
“These content pieces were part of a larger campaign for Salon Classic – a newly launched category that offers salon quality services at unbelievable prices. Our intent in partnering with influencers and content creators was to integrate the key message – salon services at
unbelievably low prices – into content & culture. It made sense to partner with influencers best known for expressing shock – Hindi TV celebrities with a cult following for the roles they play. We further extended this concept to regional TV artists as well, to build relatability for regional audiences. We are looking to attract new customers and engage existing consumers through this campaign,” shared Menon.
Due to the global pandemic, Urban Company has seen an uptick in the demand for home cleaning and hygiene services as people are becoming more health-conscious. The app had become quite popular for its home repair and salon services before the pandemic broke out. However, people have been wary about letting outsiders inside their homes lately. Urban Company rose to the challenge and tweaked its marketing strategy. It started communicating every day about the changes it introduced in its services and updated its audience regularly about the number of employees vaccinated.
It tweaked its logo across platforms to convey the importance of social distancing and wearing a mask. Apart from that, it realised that people are looking for a lot of DIY videos to make the best of their time. Therefore, it started uploading beauty and wellness video tips to help its consumers surf through the challenges they are posed with. It is also conducting live sessions to engage with its consumers.
Telling us how the company has tweaked its larger marketing strategy after the pandemic to win consumer trust, Menon shared, “We focused on communicating every day about the changes we introduced in our services and SOPs. For example, we completely reimagined certain services, such as threading, to ensure low contact with consumers. For threading, our Beauty experts now wrap the thread around their neck, instead of pursing it in their mouth. We launched extensive campaigns to build communication on our safety protocols and how the Urban Company experience has been reimagined for delivering safe and hygienic services. Our ‘UC Safe Salon campaign’ included TVCs featuring Neena Kulkarni and Shweta Tiwari aimed at communicating the safety of Urban Company’s salon at home services. More recently, in May ‘21, we ran an extension of the
Home services sector in India is largely unorganized and Urban Company is one of the few companies that is formalising it and despite being in the business for 7 years, Menon says that they are still just getting started.
Sharing his larger goals for this year, Menon said, Our focus areas will be to increase market share in existing markets and increase penetration in new cities. In the past 2 years, we have expanded to 30 cities in India. Our goal is to be present in the top 100 cities over the next couple of years.”